skincare cause allergic reactions - woman health summer spring

7 Skincare Ingredients That Can Cause Allergic Reactions

Everyone desires to look great 24/7, and that’s why business is booming in the cosmetic industry. But for some of us, opening cosmetic bags feels like crossing a minefield because any product inside can trigger an allergic reaction.  

About 25 of Americans experience an allergic skin reaction once during their lives. Today, over 3,700 allergens have been identified and linked to skin reactions, and some of them are present in beauty products.

Therefore, it is important to know these allergens in order to avoid them, especially if you have sensitive skin.


It is not uncommon to find products designed to slough off skin cells causing skin reactions, and salicylic acid is a common culprit. The oil-soluble beta-hydroxy acid is a common ingredient in cosmetic products that treat acne and oily skin. 

Topical retinoid is another acid used to normalize skin maturation and assist in enhancing collagen production. Finally, glycolic acid is also an active ingredient in chemical peels.

These acids can trigger skin reactions such as dryness, burning, irritation, and redness, especially when over-used.

Before using beauty products with salicylic acid or retinoid, you may want to consult your dermatologist, especially if you suspect you’re allergic. Experts recommend starting with fewer applications and gradually increase or decrease until you find a level that your skin can tolerate.

And if you’re allergic to glycolic peel, consider fruit enzyme peel, vitamin C or non-chemical exfoliators like a gentle scrub.


Synthetic fragrances are known to trigger irritation causing wheezing, headaches, skin rashes, coughing and other respiratory challenges. Most people think that fragrance is only used in perfumes. But it is used in nearly all cosmetic products under the sun.

In fact, fragrance ingredients can even be present in unscented products because manufacturers use certain fragrance chemicals to develop that non-scent.

So if you’re allergic to fragrance, stay away from products with the word “fragrance” and stick to those labeled “fragrance-free.”

Jewelry Or Metal

Jewelry can trigger an allergic reaction and cause skin irritation. When such a reaction occurs, the skin becomes itchy or swollen or breaks out into hives. Sadly, no one is immune to a jewelry-induced rash.

In fact, anyone can be allergic to jewelry. The only difference is that different people react to different metals. Therefore, it is important to know what your loved one is allergic to before deciding to buy a diamond engagement ring.

Some people are allergic to nickel, which is commonly used in costume jewelry and metal plating snaps and buttons. Others are allergic to cobalt, a metal commonly used in personal care products such as antiperspirants and hair dyes. Other metals to watch out for include lead, aluminum and chromium.

Essential Oils

When in the market for beauty products, remember that natural isn’t always good. Most essential oils are natural but can cause an allergic reaction to some people in the form of rashes. Most shampoo, face creams, conditioners, and body lotions have essential oils.

If you suspect that you’re allergic to essential oil, try to avoid products with it listed as an ingredient. You can try other options, like argan oil for hair growth. Unlike fragrances, most cosmetic manufacturers using essential oils list them separately, making it easier to see and avoid them.


Sulfate detergents are used in most cosmetic products from body wash and baby soap top shampoos. If you experience skin or eye irritation, stop using these products for a while. Most sulfates can cause blemishes, rashes and even dry your hair and skin.

Most organic shampoos don’t have sulfates and are therefore gentler on your hair and skin. But it is always wise to check the ingredient list to identify common sulfates, such as sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate.  


Emollients are cosmetic ingredients made to feel good on your skin. However, most of them can cause breakouts, particularly on skins prone to acne. Some of the most common emollients to watch out for include coconut butter, myristyl lactate, lanolin, isostearyl isosterate, and isopropyl palmitate.

If you’re susceptible to breakouts, pick a water-based, moisturizer that can assist the skin to retain moisture without clogging skin pores. 

Aluminum Compounds

Most antiperspirants have aluminum compounds. If your armpits begin to peel or get red, you may be allergic to these compounds. Sadly, the stronger your roll on is, the higher the chances of developing a reaction.

To avoid such effects, use natural deodorants. They may not be great at preventing sweat, but they can mask the odor.  Beauty products are a must-have. Just because you’re allergic to a few ingredients shouldn’t make you avoid all skincare products. What ingredient are you allergic to? How do you manage or avoid them?